Dubai: Pakistan allrounder Mohammad Hafeez said on Sunday he was confident about his bowling action despite being reported during a Champions League Twenty20 game last month.
The 34-year-old is likely to open the batting with Ahmed Shehzad in the first of two Tests against Australia starting in Dubai from Wednesday. But in the absence of ace spinner Saeed Ajmal, who was suspended for an illegal bowling action last month, Hafeez will be required to serve as a fifth bowler.
Hafeez said his bowling action worries were behind him. "Nothing is on my mind over my bowling action," Hafeez told reporters after his team's practice. "When I was warned over my action [in India], I bowled in the next game and there were no problems and I have also reviewed my action in the national academy in Lahore with Saqlain (Mushtaq) and as per the rules its cleared."
Saqlain, a former Pakistan spinner, is currently working on improving Ajmal's action. Since July this year, the International Cricket Council (ICC) - as part of a wider drive against bowlers with suspect actions - has suspended Ajmal, Sri Lankas Sachitra Senanayake, New Zealand?s Kane Williamson, Bangladesh's Sohag Gazi and Zimbabwe's Prosper Utseya - all offspinners like Hafeez.
Bangladesh paceman Al-Amin Hossain was also reported last month and is likely to be suspended.
The latest crackdown puts Hafeez in danger of being reported in the first Test. His action was cleared after being reported in a one-day match against the West Indies in Brisbane back in 2005.
Hafeez said he has been bowling with the same action for 11 years. "Look, I have not changed my action. It's the same for 11 years now, so I am confident."
Under the ICC rules, any bowler flexing his elbow more than 15 degrees is liable to be reported for a suspect bowling action. The reported bowler then undergoes a biomechanic assessment and if he is found to be going above 15 degrees, he is suspended pending remedial work and reassessment.
Hafeez said he looked forward to the Australian challenge in the Tests after missing the 3-0 defeat in the one-day series. "It didn't look good, missing the one-dayers but it's gone now and we, as a team, look forward to the Tests and know that we have the ability to beat any team in the world," he said.
Pakistan 'A' beat Australia by 153 runs in a four-day game in Sharjah on Saturday. The second Test is in Abu Dhabi from October 30.